At the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), scientists are doing research in over 70 departments, research groups and Clinical Cooperation Units. These are assigned to seven Research Programs which undergo a regular international assessment process.
In the Research Program Cell Biology and Tumor Biology, scientists are investigating which signaling pathways within and among cells are responsible for the growth, spread and survival of cancer cells. The role of tumor stem cells in the development and spread of cancer is another subject of investigation in this research program.
Researchers of the Research Program Functional and Structural Genomics are studying the genetic basis of cancer. To this end, they are comparing the genetic material of cancer cells with that of healthy cells. Based on the results, they discover and test new target structures for diagnosis and treatment. Bioinformaticians and systems biologists are utilizing data from genome research and tumor biology.
In the Research Program Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention, scientists are carrying out epidemiological studies to uncover connections such as between environmental factors and carcinogenesis. In addition, they are identifying cancer prevention substances and elucidating their working mechanisms.
Scientists in the Research Program Tumor Immunology are studying how cells of the immune system develop, how they succumb to programmed cell death and how they can be activated to fight cancer. The aim is to understand the role of the immune system in cancer and to develop novel vaccination strategies as well as antibody and cell therapies.
In order to make tumors in the body better visible, imaging technologies need to be continuously enhanced. This is the work of scientists in the Research Program Imaging and Radiooncology. Scientists are also developing new radiotherapy methods to specifically fight moving tumors while sparing healthy tissue at the same time.
Viruses can cause cancer. The underlying mechanisms are being investigated by scientists in the Research Program Infections and Cancer. Their aim is to develop vaccines against virus-induced cancers. Viruses that kill cancer cells are also being investigated, because they may be useful for treating some types of cancer.
In the Research Program Translational Cancer Research, the focus is on the transfer of approaches in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer to clinical application.In this way, results from basic research can directly be used in the clinic. The departments of this Research Program are DKFZ-based research programs within the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg.
On this page you will find an overview of all divisions and research groups of DKFZ.
Researchers at DKFZ are provided with the best possible support in their scientific work by its six Core Facilities. They provide services and scientific know-how, pool resources and, thus, increase the efficiency of the research center as a whole.